The Black Diamond Expedition Poles are our most popular 3-section pole. Although designed as ski poles, they easily transfer to summer use as a trekking pole too, making them an ideal choice for those who want one pole to do everything.
The poles are constructed of a lightweight and durable aluminium, stiff enough for trekking and hard skiing but not too heavy. The three sections mean the poles collapse down smaller than 2 section ski poles. This is great for split boarders, hikers, ski mountaineers or snow shoers who may be storing the poles on their pack more frequently.
The FlickLock system is low profile to avoid catching on clothing or gear and provides a very secure clamp that will not slip even if the poles are wet. This is much more secure than twist lock systems.
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Not as sturdy as I'd hoped!
Had a pair of these for a year. Was fairly happy with them but then I snapped one of them using it to stabilise myself to prevent falling after hitting a bump while skinning along a track. It was at 140 cm extension, while this probably doesn't help the strength they are supposedly designed for it.
Warranty is only 1 year (it was 13 months old), sourcing a replacement section for a reasonable price in the UK isn't easy (it appears they are readily available and cheap direct from BD in the US only) and BD were less than helpful.
I guess poles do fail sometimes and the flicklock system is much better then turning ones. However, if you were buying these thinking the high price and weight meant they were more robust you might want to reconsider.
Up in the Scottish Highlands for a week and the snow line was about 600 meters on some crags so I had a fair walk in. The Expedition poles made light work of the walk in and they were very sturdy and gave me good support at all times. They came with snow and summer baskets so they will do me all year around, they are lightweight and I never notices that I was carrying them in my pack while on technical bits of the routes, the folded down small enough to go inside my 35L pack so they did not get caught on my ropes.
The hand grips are a good size to not to skinny and you feel like you have got a good grip around them while in your hands.
The locking clamps are well made and lock tight around the poles and like some poles i have had i did not get any slipping on these. If you're looking for a good three section pole then you will not go wrong with these.
I bought these to replace an old pair of Black Diamond Trail poles which I managed to bend out of shape when I had a fall. (A wee tip here. The reason the poles and myself got damaged was because I had my hands inserted through the wrist loops going through a boulder field. Thus when a pole snagged and I started to fall over I could not release the poles. My advice is to release loops from wrists on dodgy terrain.)
I decided to go for the expedition poles because of the weight saving. Having now used them in earnest they appear to also have a better balance.
The ability to telescope is a huge plus when travelling, especially abroad.
No negative points.
Excellent ski touring pole. The three sections mean it closes down into a very compact unit, great for not catching on other things whilst on your pack. Very light but well bult with secure positive locking system.
I've a slightly older version of these, without the extended hand grip. The first thing that I did with those was add grip tape to make them more suitable for ski touring.
If you're a fan of collapsible poles for touring, then these are ideal. The locking mechanism is perfect (after you get them, give them a quarter turn each day that they slip until they stick), they're strong and they're compact when collapsed.
I've also used them for resort skiing - nothing wrong with them, but more than you need. A good point is being able to collapse them if travelling on tight cable cars / buses.
Further, I've used them for summer hiking/trekking. Again, they are okay but there are lighter poles out there. For approaches for summer alpine routes I prefer something lighter and even more compact on a pack.
Highly recommended for ski touring and good as a durable all-rounder.
Although it could be said that a weight of circa 600g is on the heavy side for a pair of walking poles, these are very sturdy. I've used them for several years - the locking system is very secure and simple to undo/do-up, even with thick winter gloves on. They come with a decent set of powder baskets which are the real deal - not the pathetic little things found on so many other sticks.
I've used them extensively for winter walking & even after several seasons' solid use, they've not let me down yet.
Solid, reliable & comfortable to use - definitely recommended.
I bought a pair of these three seasons ago (so slightly different design) as I wanted a pair of poles that would pack up short for snowkiting. Good solid sticks, no issues with slipping, wrist loops don't self-adjust. I bent a lower section when I caught it between rocks, but had no problem sourcing a replacement part. One thing to watch is: its best to take the sections apart to dry after use, if they are left telescoped together water can get trapped inside and corrode the surface of the tubes.
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